outlaw -- yeah, but at least you have a reason for having been involved with the cult. can you imagine how you'd feel if you'd volunteered to be member to be tortured for the lie, OMG!!!! my stupid sister (monkey see, monkey do, sorry Shamus). no, i take full responsibility for my ignorance.
..Which has Caused You the Most Grief in Your Life..The Outside World or Watchtower World?..
I`ve never understood why my parents would join the WBT$/JW Cult..
They were smart succesful people..
My mom probably saw it as a way to make business contacts..
She was never picky about where she made money..
My dad was much smarter than the people he associated with at the Kingdom Hall..
Doing Business with JW`s is one thing..But Joining?..
WTF were they thinking??????????..
Then they got other family members involved..
I never had a life outside that Crazy Cult untill I walked away from it all..
What a horrible thing to do to your Children..
The end result was..
The WBT$ broke up every marraige in our family including my Mom and Dads..
What a waste..
Let's see . . .
I was forced to choose from a dating pool of grimy, low-income-earning, leftovers. After a certain age, that pool grows smaller and the only asset they have is HEADSHIP status which made them feel like their pathetic existence was important. They were the best mates in the world you know. My hall was located in an area with a concentration of social services. So . . . I have witnessed much bizarre behavior and been taken advantage of as these people always needed extra help. I'm a helpful person. But the constant pressure was exhausting.
Now I choose my friends and don't worry about getting shunned for hurting their little feelings. My dating pool has grown quite large and I don't have to date "with a view to marriage". HUGE relief. Dating includes conversation on a variety of topics including ideas and books and future dreams. "Sure I can go to that rated R movie with you! And we can do so casually. No rumor mill to gear up and speculate on our imminent marriage. "
Panic attacks nearly nonexistant now. Depression completely manageable. Tuesday and Thursday nights---totally relaxing. Freezing cold Saturday mornings--nice and toasty as I roll over to doze a little longer.
SO MUCH BETTER NOW!
I would say that WT World caused me the most grief. Of course my experiences when I was 'in' is nothing compared to some of our friends here on JWN. Not that all's well in the Outside World but at atleast I am free to think, decide and act based on my conscience. It's a great relief!
I was in need of a bunch of help at the point where I became a JW.
Oh sure, you can say I got through that time with the help of WTS and the structured cult life. But I recognize that the cult life prevented me from getting the real help I was all set to be getting at that very time in my life. Once I became a JW, there was no need to get help.
Fast forward to getting out of the JW's. I had all those problems still and never dealt with them. Now I had grief from JW's for leaving.
While WTS didn't cause all my problems, I blame them for most of it because of the reasons above.
My experience has been similar to NewChapter.
I was divorced in 2004, still a 'bigshot' elder....and now suddenly single in my 30's. It was terrible. It was like being red meat in a lion's cage. "Sisters" (yeah right) came out of the wood work; as young as 24....."get the elder".....its was sick...and to be honest, I think it really damaged me....
I have a file of "sisters" emails, texts, pics etc........sent to me with sex talk, pictures of boobs, etc. Many of them MARRIED.
My dating pool expanded dramatically and I came to realize there might actually be a nice girl out there..... but I'm still single and have commitment issues..... most of it from my time as an elder dealing with the many miserable marriages with 'the happiest people on earth' ......
NewChapter.....always curious.......how did you get back out there dating?
I want to thank everyone who has posted so far..
Good comments from everyone..
Actually there was a man that I knew for 10 years and was totally crazy about. Several times while I was still "in" we had a pseudo dating relationship because I always drew back. We would talk for hours about the craziest things. We were both idea people. I contacted him after I left and we picked up like no time had passed. We are no longer together, and that may be because I had 2 marriages that ended badly and I'm not really in the mood to make that final and forever committment.
Expand your experience. Get some interests. Read. Have something to talk about. Then go where people with like interests would be.
There are no real answers. It's just a social thing. JW's put such weird emphasis on every little interaction it's enough to terrify anyone.
I'm not going to lie or mislead and say I've been an angel and 'moral' the entire time......I haven't. But I seem to just run through women..... without anything taking root.
I appreciate you sharing....I'm trying to explore how much of my issue is me and how much of it is the influence of JWs and my bad experiences.... always good to hear how others have adjusted.
Moral by whose standards Daring? And just remember this-you don't have to date them just because they are willing. If you already know enough about them to know things won't mesh well, just pass them by. You are friends now, and that's all. When we were in, the most important consideration was spiritual qualifications. Everything else took second place. Many couples just stopped at the spiritual and got married on a hormone rush. How much time did you spend thinking about the kind of person you REALLY want to spend time with? That initial attraction wears off quickly, and you are left with pure substance. Just what kind of substance are you looking for?
When I was in I dated people because they were active JW's. My secondary interests weren't even important to them! Two wanted me to marry them, and it was like a bag of bricks on my chest. The pressure was intense--afterall we are only supposed to date to find a spouse. It made me feel like I was doing something wrong simply by saying that they aren't interested in what I'm interested in and I can't go through with this. But they were spiritually qualified, so what was my problem?
I often confided in friends that I wished it allowable to simply date with no real direction for a while. I would joke that I'd like to have a boyfriend to hang out with, watch movies with, go to museums with---but then he could go home. I would get that disapproving look. It was very evil of me to simply want to have some connection with someone special and not have to plan my life around him. That's gone now. I can just be myself.